Colorado Economy

In the middle of 19th century, the economy of the state was mainly based on mining of valuable minerals and their processing; breeding of livestock became important towards the late19thcentury. Irrigation of agricultural products like wheat, corn, and hay was done. The industrial and service sectors became important in the middle of the 20th century. The economy of the state varied with its focus more on technical research and high-technology trades. Industries like that of food processing, transport gear, machinery etc. grew in this period. Colorado was the largest beer producer in the country. The estimates of Bureau of Economic Analysis showed that the cost of total state product in 2008 was around $248.6 billion and the Per capita income in the year 2007 was around $41,192 approximately, placing Colorado as the eleventh state getting such per capita income.

Contribution of the Federal Government

One of the key fiscal forces in the state is the Federal Government, which provides many vital services of North American Aerospace Defense Command, U.S. Air Force Academy and Peterson Air Force Base; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder etc. In addition to these, a huge area of land is also under the federal ownership, and amounts to 24,615,788 acres (99,617 km2).

Contribution of Industrial Sector

Denver is both the capital city and financial capital of Colorado. Many nationwide recognized brands have their origin in Colorado. Starting from Qwest, the pioneer in telecommunications, luggage from Samsonite, belts and hoses from Gates, and many other brands have originated in Denver. Other well known brands like that of Kuner, Golden Coors beer, Coors Tek ceramics, Jolly Rancher candy, Celestial Seasonings herbal teas, and many other industries, all have originated in Colorado.

Contribution of Taxes

Taxes in Colorado are charged on taxable income, i.e., the income left after subtracting the central exemptions and standard deductions. The contribution of income tax in the revenue of Colorado amounts to a flat 4.63%irrespective of the income level of the citizens. The contribution of Sales Tax in the revenue of Colorado is of 2.9% on retail sales. Real estate and personal property are liable to be charged in Colorado.

Charity Donations

Charity donations also contribute towards the economy. Major parts of donations come from charitable societies based in Colorado, like that of the Daniels Fund, the Gates Family Foundation etc., amounting to nearly $400million each year. Colorado stands at thirty-eighth rank in the country with donations up to 3.4% of income.

Natural Resources & Economy

The land of Colorado is very rich in hydrocarbon and other minerals. As per the Energy Information Administration, Colorado has seven largest Natural gas fields out of 100 in the whole Nation and two largest oil fields out of 100. The output from Colorado’s natural gas basins gives around 5 percent to the yearly natural gas production. Its oil deposits are of around1 trillion barrels. Deposits of coal, and quality diamonds can also be found in the mines of Colorado.

Special Tax Districts & Economy

Special tax districts are spread across several counties of Colorado. The special taxes are levied only in the selected counties where they applied. Some of the special tax districts are:

  • The Regional Transportation District (RTD), affecting the counties of Denver, Boulder, Jefferson, and some other regions of Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, and Douglas.
  • The Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), a toll ward with corporal limits adjoining the regions of Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson Counties
    • It is a 0.1% of retail sales and use tax (one penny on every 10Dollars).
    • SCFD allots the cash to native groups on yearly basis. These groups need to provide for the education and amusement of the public through the production, presentation, exhibition of art, music, theater etc.
    • SCFD recipient groups are divided into three "tiers" among which the receipts are allocated
      • Tier I comprises local groups: the Denver Art Museum, Botanical Gardens, Museum of Nature and Science, Zoo, and the Center for the Performing Arts. It gets 65.5%.
      • Tier II includes 26 regional groups. It gets 21%.
      • Tier III has over 280 local groups such as small theaters, orchestras, art centers, community groups etc. It gets 13.5%.

    • The Football Stadium District (FD), to help build the stadium of the INVESCO Field
    • Local Improvement Districts (LID) in Southeast Jefferson and Boulder.
    • Regional Transportation Districts (RTA)
    • Occupational Privilege Taxes (OPT) levied on Employers and Workers.
      • Any employee working in the city is paid over 500 US Dollars for it in a month, then the Employee and Employer, both are liable for the OPT irrespective of their business location.
      • In Denver, the Employer is responsible for 4 US Dollars per worker monthly and the workers are responsible for 5.75 US Dollar monthly.
      • In Aurora, both employer and workers are responsible for 2 US Dollars per month.